As I've been pondering this discussion of what to teach our children, I remembered a talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland that is on this very subject. It's called A Prayer for the Children, from the April 2003 General Conference (May 2003 Engisn). Here's the link: http://lds.org/conference/talk/displ...353-29,00.html
It is a very powerful talk! I remember at the time it was given, I was struggling with my own faith a little bit, and this talk hit me so hard. I'll quote a few portions:
|In this Church there is an enormous amount of room--and scriptural commandment--for studying and learning, for comparing and considering, for discussion and awaiting further revelation. We all learn "line upon line, precept upon precept," with the goal being authentic religious faith informing genuine Christlike living. In this there is no place for coercion or manipulation, no plce for intimidation or hypocrisy. But no child in this Church should be left with uncertainty about his or her parents' devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Restoration of His Church, and the reality of living prophets and apostles....In such basic matters of faith, prophets do not apologize for requesting unity, indeed conformity, in the eloquetn sense that the Prophet Joseph Smith used that latter word. In any case, as Elder Neal A. Maxwell once said to mel in a hallway conversation, "There didn't seem to be any problem with conformity the day the Red Sea opened." Parent simply cannot flirt with skepticism or cynicism, then be surprised when their children expand that flirtation into full-blown romance.
|To lead a child (or anyone else!), even inadvertently, away from faithfulness, away from loyalty and bedrock belief simply because we want to be clever or independent is license no parent nor any other person has ever been given. In matters of religion a skeptical mind is not a higher manifestation of virtue than is a believing heart, and analytical deconstruction in the field of, say, literary fiction can be just plain old-fashioned destruction when transferred to families yearning for faith at home.
And to address the subject of children possibly straying in the future:
|Brothers and sisters, our children take their flight into the future with our thrust and with our aim. And even as we anxiously watch that arrow in flight and know all the evils that can deflect its course after it has left our hand, nevertheless we take courage in remembering that the most important mortal factor in determining that arrow's destination will be the stability, strength, and unwavering certainty of the holder of the bow.
So our plan is to teach our children our faith without reservation. I think it is entirely possible to do this and also teach respect for the beliefs of others, especially as someone mentioned when you teach about agency and when you teach about the Savior's love for ALL people.
|Do you realize that many people on MDC believe that teaching a child your belief system is literally child abuse!?
I guess my answer to this is that I am not held accountable to the people of MDC for what I do with my children (even though some MDC members seem to think that everyone
is accountable to them, lol! I am accountable to God alone.
PErsonally, I think it's negligent to not give children a firm base in something
. Even choosing to not teach a belief system is in itself teaching them a belief system.
BTW, I got the anti DVD delivered in my mailbox today. I read in the newspaper this morning that it would be hitting Mormons in Utah. I laughed when I opened the mailbox and saw it. It's very deceiving, though. It comes in a beautiful cover with touching pictures, like the woman washing the Savior's feet, a famous picture of Joseph Smith, the Salt Lake temple, and the garden tomb. The cover gives absolutely no indication of what's inside. If I had not heard about it here, I would have had no clue. That, I think, is cowardly. If you are going to put something like this forth, at least have the guts to be honest and up front about what it is and who it's from. Mine has gone right in the trash.